However, says government is committed to completing the project
Chennai: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday stood by her earlier opposition to the Metro Rail project in Chennai and said in the State Legislative Assembly her government went ahead with the project because the erstwhile DMK Government had already commissioned works and terminating it thereafter would not have been feasible.
When DMK legislator and former Chennai Corporation Mayor M. Subramanian read out her comments made in the House in July 2006 opposing the Metro Rail project, Ms. Jayalalithaa intervened and said, “I am not denying the comments I had made over the Metro Rail Project earlier. It is true that they are my comments. However, the Metro Rail project has commenced. The situation was such that the works have to be completed, so works were completed. The project presently underway cannot be stopped. I thanked the Central government for the assistance extended by the Central government. I have not denied what I have said.”
She also took a swipe at the DMK for leaving projects incomplete after having commissioned them when the party was in power during various periods. “Why did the DMK not complete the Veeranam project, which was initiated by it (back in the seventies). Even though you came back to power again (1989 and 1996), you did not have the resolve to take up the project again. Only after I came to power, I successfully executed the Veeranam project (2001-06). I would like to point out that only through this project drinking water supply has been ensured to Chennai city to this day,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
The Chief Minister’s quick and sharp responses to Mr. Subramanian started soon after the former Mayor began his speech. A few minutes after the Saidapet MLA commenced his speech with a reference to the Assembly as the “historic House”, Ms. Jayalalithaa intervened and asked “was it only because it was such a historic House, they (DMK) raised a building like a grounded ship and moved the House there? (a reference to the new Secretariat building in Government Estate – now converted into a super speciality hospital)?” She also claimed that the Speaker’s chair was dumped by the erstwhile DMK Government when the Secretariat was shifted and had to be recovered by the Assembly Secretary.
To make things worse for him, Mr. Subramanian addressed the Speaker P. Dhanapal as “Honourable Mayor” and quickly corrected himself much to the amusement of all AIADMK members and Ms. Jayalalithaa.